Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Tap on the Window - Linwood Barclay

Here's the latest summer thriller to get your hands on. Linwood Barclay follows up last summer's hit, Trust Your Eyes, with his new novel A Tap on the Window.

Private Investigator Cal Weaver and his wife are still grieving over the death of their son Scott, who died in a fall.  Scott's autopsy revealed levels of drugs that most likely contributed to his death. Cal is determined to find who in their town of Griffon, New York might have sold Scott the drugs.

On a rainy night, when a young woman taps on his window asking for a ride, Cal hesitates. But when she recognizes him as Scott's dad, he sees a chance to gain more information about who Scott's dealer might have been.

"A middle-aged guy would have to be a total fool to pick up a teenage girl standing outside a bar with her thumb sticking out. Not that bright on her part, either, when you think about it. But right now, we're talking about my stupidity, not hers." 

When Claire the hitchhiker asks Cal to stop to let her use the washroom of a local restaurant, he again hesitates, but complies with her request. But the girl who gets back into the car isn't the same girl who got out. They look the same, but this girl's clothes are dry - the other girl was soaked. And then this girl bolts from the car as well. What's going on? A prank? Or are they in trouble?

Barclay is a master of the domestic suspense genre. He does it again in A Tap on the Window - takes a grieving parent and dumps him into an unthinkable situation. Cal feels responsible for finding out what happened to that first girl and starts his own investigation. But the local cops' suspicion is turned on Cal when the girl can't be found.

Hounded and harassed by the cops, Cal keeps digging. But there's more than the missing girl - something is wrong in the town of Griffon. And the police department seems to be at the centre of everything.

The story is told in first person narrative by Cal, so we are along for the ride as he slowly uncovers and pieces together the hidden story of Griffon. There are italicized chapters written from an unknown point of view that hint at yet another secret. Barclay strings us along and keeps us guessing with many red herrings and possible suspects. It seems that everyone is guilty of something. About one hundred pages from the end, I made my final guess and had my suspicions confirmed in the last few chapters. Although the basic premise of A Tap on the Window is not new, Barclay puts his own spin on things and finishes up with a 'last didn't see that one coming twist' ending that surprised me.

I've read and enjoyed every book written by Barclay - he's a master at the suspense game. . A Tap on the Window is a fast-paced, addictive page turner that will land on the best seller lists very shortly! You can find Linwood Barclay on Facebook and on Twitter. Check out the book trailer!


bermudaonion said...

I can't figure out why I've never read Barclay. This sounds like my kind of book.

Luanne said...

You would like him Kathy!